As many as 42% of working women in the UK are uneasy about their employer’s reaction when they tell them they are pregnant, according to a survey by OnePoll commissioned by QualitySolicitors.
Even more women are unclear about their maternity rights, with 78% of women not asking about their company’s maternity policy having accepted a job.
The survey also shows that only half of all women in the UK ask about their maternity rights within the first year of employment in a company.
It also reveals that two thirds of working women in the UK would like for their employer to be more transparent about their maternity policy from the outset and that 50% say their employer’s maternity package would not affect their decision about whether to accept a job.
Some 71% of those surveyed believe sharing maternity/paternity leave between parents is a good idea, but 40% were unaware they could actually do this, while almost half (46%) of women think their employer could do more to support those on maternity / paternity leave.
Craig Holt, founder of QualitySolicitors says: “In today’s economic climate, women are understandably concerned about job security. Despite strong legal regulation to assist the employer and employee, a culture of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ has been allowed to develop. Women are not asking about their rights, and employers are not always communicating clearly what these rights are and where they can find them.”
The firm has created a series of guides offering advice on maternity and paternity rights.